Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Fork in the Road

I’m at that figurative fork in the road. It’s that time to decide where I’ll be in the next year. I need to weigh whether my life here is worth staying for. Just had a couple of great phone conversations with friends – one a good friend from Vancouver, and the other in Inuvik. The friend in Vancouver said that I should definitely get out of this desolate town, while the one here said that if I was unsure, I should refrain from making any major life-altering decisions. I know that whatever decision I make, it will be the right one, even if it is merely because I’m the one to have made it. So far, I’ve always chosen to follow what has inspired and excited me and have thrown practicality out the window. I had forgone regular high school experiences in favour of the intimacy of my liberal, artsy alternative school. I had pursued degrees in Women’s Studies and English Literature simply because those were the only classes I truly enjoyed. I continue to bury my nose in novels and writing to escape from reality, only to find that all that I do actually intensifies reality. Perhaps it is time to think practically – maybe it’s part of growing up.

I’ve outgrown so many things these past few years: the constant need to seek approval from certain people, the desire to be accepted by everyone. Sometimes, I think that even a yearning for life – that innocent thirst – could be outgrown. The belief in goodness or justice is no longer clear-cut. I say that I don’t want to be complacent, that I want to continue toward self-betterment, but these phrases ring false even as they form in my mind.

Perhaps I’ve even outgrown a sense of home. I still yearn for one, but I’m beginning to think that I might never find one. This past weekend, I went up to Tuktoyuktuk with a few friends. It’s the first time I’ve really gone on the ice-road, and the experience strengthened the feeling that perhaps I’m just a wanderer, no matter how long I finally decide to stay up here.

It’s been almost three years since I’ve been to Tuk. Back then, I had just arrived in Inuvik. Tuk was a shock, and was so cold even in the August sun. I had gotten sick during that short plane ride, and was in no mood to appreciate any of the town’s ruggedness. This time around, I marvelled at actually driving on the Mackenzie River, at the “toothpick trees” that somehow managed to be majestic against the burning blue sky.

The town of Tuk was more vibrant than the version that was in my memory. We even saw people we knew crowded into the sole restaurant in town at the Tuk Inn. I felt as though I was no longer a stranger or an intruder, but again, the nagging feeling that I would never truly belong was ever-present.

I’m sure that I’ll feel better in a few days, when I’ve made a decision either way, and have accepted it and have had a chance to find excitement in that choice.

1 comment:

  1. Please don't do this to yourself. Yes, DO find excitement -- but if you decide to be up there for another year, be clear about your reasons. Catch up with you soon, ok?